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Protecting two of our state’s greatest economic engines: Farmers and Agribusinesses

With its $91.7 billion annual contribution to our state’s economy, agribusiness and agriculture helps drive a major share of North Carolina’s economic success — representing one-sixth of our state’s overall income. It is a powerhouse industry that continues to be a major employer for the state, providing jobs to 1 in 6 North Carolinians, or 4.4 million people.* At the NC Chamber, we’re proud of our state’s agricultural roots and proud to advocate for policies that support these vital industries so that our state’s people, and communities throughout the world, can prosper.

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*Data derived from the North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Current Challenge

Despite its importance to our daily lives and statewide economy, our agriculture industry has been subject to a mounting number of challenges, through no fault of its own. An unpredictable trade environment, uncertain talent pipelines, attacks from out-of-state personal injury attorneys, an unprecedented string of devastating storms, and a worldwide pandemic have all taken their toll in recent years.

The Solution

Ranked 9th in the U.S. for value of agricultural products sold, the agriculture industry is and will remain critical to North Carolina’s reputation as an economic leader in the Southeast.

At the NC Chamber, we know how important our farms and agribusinesses are to the overall success of our state. If we hope to continue that success, we have to support these vital sectors. That’s why we have made it a top priority to help develop and advocate for policies that allow our state’s farmers and agribusinesses to not only survive, but to thrive in the years and decades ahead.

In 2020, the NC Chamber pushed for passage of Senate Bill 704 and House Bill 118, protecting agribusinesses and others from unwarranted lawsuits stemming from the spread of COVID-19, while also successfully opposing House Bill 1102, which would have lowered regulatory uncertainty for manufacturers and dealers of ag equipment. In 2022, we are focused on guarding against overly burdensome regulations on food supply chains and supporting policies that create a more predictable, more attractive operating environment for food manufacturers and other agribusinesses.

We welcome members of our agriculture and agribusiness communities to join Ag Allies, a coalition of businesses that work tirelessly to champion the needs our state’s top industry. Participants receive exclusive updates on pressing agribusiness issues and developments; invitations to calls, webinars, and meetings with state and federal policymakers; and the opportunity to shape the regulatory landscape through collaboration with our Government Affairs team.

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The Agenda

  • Learn how the NC Chamber championed issues for North Carolina’s businesses in the 2021 edition of How They Voted. View our 2023 Legislative Agenda here.
  • Explore our annual Ag Allies Conference, held each fall. This event brings together leaders from the agribusiness and food value chains to discuss important trends, policy developments, innovations and risks that will effect the industry in future years.

What Our Members are Saying

  • “The NC Chamber understands the unique challenges facing the agriculture industry. Knowing the Chamber is in our corner, I can focus more on what our business does best.” –James Whitehurst, III, President & CEO of Coastal Agrobusiness, Inc.
  • “From regulatory reform to strengthening nuisance lawsuit protections for farmers, the NC Chamber has stood up for North Carolina agribusiness time and time again.” -John Prestage, Senior Vice President, Prestage Farms, Inc.